“Wouldn’t it be nice if….” is an interesting place my mind likes to go sometimes.
But what is really interesting is what it decides to do once it gets there.
This is a phrase that contains a sort of well-hidden fork in the road.
To find the fork, we first have to deconstruct the phrase.
“Wouldn’t it be nice” is a nice, wide, well-paved road. It is easy on the feet or the tires. It has good scenery. It is well-lit and safe.
“If” is a whole different neighborhood. In fact, “if” is the proverbial fork in the road. When my mind gets to “if,” it gets to a choice.
It can take one side of the fork and continue into an even nicer, safer, brighter neighborhood filled with all good things, good dreams and good possibilities.
Or it can take the other side of the fork and wind up who-knows-where.
Who-knows-where won’t be safe, well-lit or welcoming. And anyone my mind might be tempted to ask for directions back out of there will probably be pretty pissed off.
The reason I bring this is up is because 2020 has been a particularly challenging year for consistently choosing the safe, brightly-lit fork in that road.
COVID-19, after all. Recession. Global warming. Vanishing species. Toxic planet.
Any one of these things could easily contribute to a mind that decides to dive under the deep, dark covers and never ever come back out again.
But that is also why it is more important than ever that we learn to use our minds for good. And by that I mean that we learn to use our minds to envision, to visualize, good things.
At this point you might be wondering how a visualization that starts with “wouldn’t it be nice if…” could ever take your mind to a bad neighborhood.
The way it ends up there depends on the way the journey begins.
When the journey begins with your mind’s high intentions to fill the world with light, love, goodness, healing, hope, empowerment, brave, then there is very little chance you will find yourself in a place where the sun don’t shine.
But when the journey begins with your mind’s ruminations on how messed up everything is right now or how scary and dark life has become or how much better it used to be back in the “good old days” or when the other political party was in power or before some body type or personality type or skin color you don’t have was in vogue, then the doom and gloom in these thoughts will send you into a very bad neighborhood indeed.
This means there are important pros and cons to consider before letting your mind start down that wide, well-paved open road in the first place.
Why are you headed that way?
Is it to complain from a place of powerlessness-feeling or to reimagine from a place of inner power?
Envy, anger, hate, fear, grief – these are viable and very real emotions that need to be felt. They need to come up and out. Every single being on this planet feels these emotions at times and feels absolutely miserable while they are feeling them.
The thing is, the only way these types of emotions will go away is if we stop, notice, sit down and really feel what we are feeling. We must acknowledge ourselves for having the courage to feel sad, or weary, or angry, or even hatred. Then we must remove the scary disguise off the top of that e-motion, that energy, and let it dissipate.
Then it will lift at least for a little bit and we can get back to the business at hand of envisioning a better, safer, brighter, more equal and inclusive world than the one we are living in at present.
Otherwise, what begins with anger culminates in anger. What begins with hate culminates in hate. What begins with sadness culminates in utter grief.
This reminds me of a phrase “healer, heal thyself.” I’m not sure who said it. It also reminds me of all the times various coaches and mentors have told me to fill my own cup (or put on my own mask) before even thinking about assisting the fellow being in need sitting or standing beside me.
We need to tend to ourselves first before dreaming of a better life for us all.
But then, once we have tended to ourselves, we will be that much more powerful, em-powered if you will, to tend to the good of the whole in turn.
This is where “wouldn’t it be nice if….”becomes a very powerful tool in our mental hands.
We can take that good-feeling energy inside us and direct it for good through visualizing cleaner air and water, safe haven for all species, equality for all beings, health and wellness for the planet, love and connection for all who live on this planet together.
It is the good energy inside us that makes the most difference, not the specific type of visualization we send that energy towards.
Just having such generosity and goodwill inside us will deliver its own benefits, even if we don’t direct that energy towards any specific vision at all.
The planet can feel the state of our heart. The person standing next to us as well as the person on the other side of the world can also feel it. The birds and bees in the trees outside and the pets running around at our feet can feel it. Our houseplants can feel it. The water in our pipes and in our oceans and the air above and even the planets and stars can feel it.
All of these beings will reflect and amplify our good intentions so they can do the most good and have the best effect possible.
With great respect and love,